From blog post to Twitter: auto-posting the Feedburner way

You got those blogging blues? All that time and effort penning wonderfully erudite missives and no one can be arsed to show up and read the damn things? Just too many blogs crowding out your place in the sun on the mighty Google? Might be time to start looking for alternative avenues to distribute your content.

Like Twitter.

We have our own success story here at developerWorks – which happily delivers us over 200,000 visitors a month. Not bad for a 140-character investment every now and again. Twitter is many things to many people, and one thing it is to some people is a channel for distributing your content. What’s the easiest way of getting blog posts onto Twitter? There are numerous tools out there that will take up your blog posts as soon as you hit ‘publish’ and wrap them up into a handy Tweet, complete with a link back to your site.

You may know Google’s Feedburner service as an RSS manager, but it has other functions too: like being able to autopost to Twitter.

Setting up Feedburner

Create an account

First step is to login and create an account with Feedburner. Pretty straightforward, especially if you use any other Google service (such as Gmail), as you just enter your existing account.

Get your RSS feed address

Once in, the service will ask you for your feed address (to ‘burn’ the feed). Here on developerworks you can get this by going to the bottom of the homepage and saving the URL for the blog entries:

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If you can’t find your RSS feed, try giving it your blog address: Feedburner may well be able to figure it out your RSS feed address for you.

Add the Twitter service to Feedburner

Follow the steps through to the ‘congrats’ page and at the bottom click directly through to ‘feed management’. Choose the ‘publicize’ tab and select ‘Socialize’:

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Add your Twitter account details and you can tweak the settings if you wish (in most cases the defaults should work just fine). Note that the service uses the goo.gl URL shortener of choice.

Click ‘Activate’ and you are good to go.

So the next time you put out a post:

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You’ll see it show up in Twitter a few minutes later:

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That’s all there is to it.

Although there are reasons why you might not want to automate posting of blog content directly to Twitter. One may be that you want to tailor your message for each audience. What works well as a blog headline may not cut it on Twitter. Still, if you don’t have time to manicure your Twitter presence then it makes good sense to use an autoposter like Feedburner to handle this step for you.

More on the value of the Feedburner service.

Welcome any feedback or questions!